Dietary Patterns: A New Therapeutic Approach for Depression?

Author(s): Mariana Jesus* , Tânia Silva , César Cagigal , Vera Martins , Carla Silva .

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Volume 20 , Issue 2 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Introduction: The field of nutritional psychiatry is a fast-growing one. Although initially, it focused on the effects of vitamins and micronutrients in mental health, in the last decade, its focus also extended to the dietary patterns. The possibility of a dietary cost-effective intervention in the most common mental disorder, depression, cannot be overlooked due to its potential large-scale impact.

Method: A classic review of the literature was conducted, and studies published between 2010 and 2018 focusing on the impact of dietary patterns in depression and depressive symptoms were included.

Results: We found 10 studies that matched our criteria. Most studies showed an inverse association between healthy dietary patterns, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and whole grains, and with low intake of processed and sugary foods, and depression and depressive symptoms throughout an array of age groups, although some authors reported statistical significance only in women. While most studies were of cross-sectional design, making it difficult to infer causality, a randomized controlled trial presented similar results.

Discussion: The association between dietary patterns and depression is now well-established, although the exact etiological pathways are still unknown. Dietary intervention, with the implementation of healthier dietary patterns, closer to the traditional ones, can play an important role in the prevention and adjunctive therapy of depression and depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: More large-scale randomized clinical trials need to be conducted, in order to confirm the association between high-quality dietary patterns and lower risk of depression and depressive symptoms.

Keywords: Depression, mood disorders, nutrition, dietary patterns, nutritional psychiatry, foods.

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VOLUME: 20
ISSUE: 2
Year: 2019
Page: [123 - 129]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1389201019666180925122116
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